It happens too often. You’re excited about starting a project, but you need a sign-off. You can’t publish a report until you get information from someone. You need to meet with a supervisor to plan for the next quarter. Yet your calls, emails, and other efforts to connect go unanswered.
As frustrating as it is, consider a few hacks to make the connections you need:
- Have a compelling subject line. Keep it should and attention-grabbing. Instead of “Report Is almost ready to go to press,” try “Urgent: Report on deadline.”
- Be aware of your tone. As you get more frustrated, it may be tempting to sound more urgent and stern. However, continue to be polite and respectful. Research shows that emails with a more positive tone have a 10-15% higher response. Don’t assume someone is ignoring you or being rude. Instead, acknowledge you know how busy people are and stress the importance of their expertise and feedback.
- Keep it short, use simply language, and make it crystal clear what you need from the person.
- Give the recipient an ‘out.’ For instance, say, “If there is someone you think I should talk to instead, let me know. Thanks!”
- Be persistent, but not a pest. Reaching out every hour or every day can do more harm than good and likely won’t get you the answer you need. If your request continues to go unanswered, seek guidance from a manager or colleague about who else might be able to help. Maintain a record of your efforts as proof that followed protocol.